Sulky driver’s walking wish is granted by judge

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A MAN who boasted before appearing in court that he was “going to walk” in respect of a traffic offence has had his wish granted by Judge Eugene O’Kelly, who banned him from driving for two years for riding a sulky on a motorway last November.

A MAN who boasted before appearing in court that he was “going to walk” in respect of a traffic offence has had his wish granted by Judge Eugene O’Kelly, who banned him from driving for two years for riding a sulky on a motorway last November.

Charlie Casey had not been racing the sulky at Rosbrien on the day in question, his solicitor John Devane stressed at Limerick District Court.

Casey, aged 22, of Clonlong, Southill, was also jailed for 10 months after he admitted to a burglary during which €500 was stolen from an industrial unit in Crossagalla.

Garda Pat Kirwan gave evidence of having detected Casey riding a sulky on the M7 at Rosbrien, just before the Cork exit, at around 4.25pm on November 20 last.

He pleaded guilty dangerous driving; to having an unlicensed horse, contrary to the Control of Horses Act; and to giving a false name and address to gardai arising from this incident.

Sulkies being driven on motorways were “causing problems all over the country”, Garda Kirwan said. On this occasion, another party was driving a car alongside Casey on the hard shoulder.

“Was the driver pacing him or filming him?” the judge asked, to which Garda Kirwan replied the pair were just talking.

“This is the character,” said Judge O’Kelly “who said he would walk free if he was charged”.

Expressing his dissatisfaction with Casey’s “cheeky attitude”, Judge O’Kelly continued: “If he wants to walk, he can walk from now on”, imposing a two-year driving ban.

For having an unlicensed horse, Casey was fined €250 with four months to pay.

Sgt Donal Cronin gave evidence in respect of the burglary offence that at some time between June 29 and 30, 2011, Sami Swoi, a Polish food business on Crossagalla Industrial Estate, was broken into and €500 in cash stolen.

“On May 25, 2012, a considerable amount of time later, he was arrested and made admissions in relation to the matter,” Sgt Cronin said, adding it was accepted Casey had not been acting alone.

Judge O’Kelly was told that on February 2, 2011, Casey had been sentenced to eight months in prison for theft at Limerick District Court, suspended for 12 months.

Mr Devane said his client would suffer if his driving licence was taken away as he had “the promise of work from local farmers”. Before the court was the father of two young children, aged three and two, Mr Devane said.

“He had these children when he got the suspended sentence for theft in February 2011 and in June of 2011 he was stealing again,” said the judge.

“He knew what the situation was and again in November he committed another offence in relation to the sulky.”

Judge O’Kelly activated the eight-month sentence which had been suspended in February 2011.

And he sentenced Casey to another 10 months in prison, to run concurrently, for the burglary in Crossagalla in June of that year.